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Alcohols are a class of organic molecule possessing at the very least one hydroxyl practical group linked to a carbon atom. Methanol and also ethanol space two acquainted alcohols. Both are aliphatic alcohols, definition that castle are acquired from a hydrocarbon and also do not contain a benzene group.

There room three classifications of aliphatic alcohols. The first is a primary alcohol, wherein the hydroxyl group is linked to a carbon atom the is linked to one carbon-based, or alkyl, group. In a second alcohol, the hydroxyl team is linked to a carbon atom that has two alkyl groups. Finally, in a tertiary alcohol, the hydroxyl group is linked to a carbon atom with three alkyl groups.

Alcohols can likewise be aromatic, in i m sorry a hydroxyl group is connected directly to the carbon the a benzene ring. The simplest type of an aromatic alcohol is phenol. Compounds that contain phenol are well-known as phenol derivatives or phenols.

Certain reactions undertaken by alcohols have the right to be used to differentiate them based on visible differences in the reaction’s outcome. One such reaction is the ferric chloride test, i m sorry tests for the presence of phenols. When ferric chloride is included to a phenol, a purple iron-three-phenol complicated forms. This is not observed once it is included to one aliphatic alcohol.

Another helpful reaction is the Jones Test, i beg your pardon is offered to recognize primary and second aliphatic alcohols. Jones’ reagent, a mix the sulfuric acid and also chromium trioxide in water, is a strong oxidizing agent. It reacts with primary alcohols to kind aldehydes — i m sorry then form carboxylic acids— and it reaction with secondary alcohols to form ketones. The addition of the Jones reagent to main and an additional alcohols causes the solution to readjust colors from orange come dark green. Tertiary alcohols do not react v Jones’ reagent since they space resistant come oxidation.

Finally, we can identify aliphatic alcohols with the Lucas test. Lucas’ reagent, i m sorry is a mixture the zinc chloride and hydrochloric acid, reaction with second and tertiary alcohols with an SN1 nucleophilic substitution reaction. The zinc chloride works with to the hydroxyl oxygen come generate great leaving group. As soon as eliminated, a positively fee carbocation remains. Then, a chlorine ion assaults the carbocation to type an alkyl chloride, i beg your pardon is insoluble in water and appears cloudy.

Tertiary alcohols react instantly with Lucas’ reagent to form an oily layer at room temperature. Secondary alcohols provide a positive result after a few seconds come a couple of minutes. Primary alcohols provide a an adverse result unless they are heated.

In this lab, friend will use the ferric chloride test, Jones test, and Lucas test to determine an unknown alcohol.


Alcohols space organic compounds the are among the many recognizable and familiar, as they have actually wide-ranging applications and also uses in day-to-day life. Alcohols space organic molecule containing a hydroxyl sensible group connected to an alkyl or aryl team (ROH). If the hydroxyl carbon only has actually a single R group, the is well-known as major alcohol. If it has two R groups, the is a second alcohol, and if it has three R groups, that is a tertiary alcohol. Like countless other necessary compounds, alcohols can additionally be fragrant by comprise a benzene ring. The simplest fragrant alcohol is phenol.

Identifying an alcohol in organic chemistry deserve to be completed by exploiting the different properties of the species of alcohols. While miscellaneous instrumentation analysis methods, such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) have the right to be used, other qualitative tests can also be utilized. By coupling these tests together, the identity of one alcohol have the right to be figured out in a similar fashion come the method aldehydes and ketones have the right to be identified.

Ferric Chloride Test

One an approach to differentiate in between an aliphatic alcohol and an fragrant alcohol is by utilizing iron(III) chloride. The steel chloride compound provides the equipment a red-orange appearance. In the existence of an fragrant alcohol, choose phenol, the chloride atoms are replaced by the aromatic alcohol, transforming the coordination residential property of the facility iron atom. This changes the shade of the solution to a violet color. Aliphatic alcohols will certainly not react v iron(III) chloride and, thus, the solution stays red-orange.

Jones Test

The Jones test uses chromium trioxide in the visibility of sulfuric acid to act together a an effective oxidizing agent. In the presence of the Jones' reagent, a primary alcohol is very first converted right into an aldehyde and then into a carboxylic acid, when a an additional alcohol will certainly be oxidized right into a ketone. The oxidation state the chromium is the an essential to this test. Chromium is in the +6 oxidation state in the Jones' reagent. The Cr(VI) complexes in the reagent offer it its shining reddish, orange color.

In the process of the reaction, chromium is decreased from Cr(VI) come the +3 oxidation state — Cr(III). First, the alcohol and also chromic acid kind a chromate ester. Then, a base (H2O) cleaves the C-H bond of the alcohol, forming the carbonyl team while reduce Cr(VI) come Cr(IV). The carbon that the alcohol experience a 2-electron oxidation, and the Cr(IV) experience a 2-electron reduction, so this is a reduction-oxidation step.

Cr(IV) participates in further oxidation steps and also is eventually reduced to Cr(III). Cr(III) is often current as hexaaquachromium(III) ions — 3+ — and also Cr(III) complexes, where H2O molecule are replaced by one or an ext sulphate ion — +. This complexes offer Cr(III) the characteristic green color.

Tertiary alcohols execute not react v chromium, and thus no precipitate is made, maintaining the solution orange. Therefore, the Jones check can aid differentiate primary and an additional alcohols indigenous tertiary alcohols.

Lucas Test

The Lucas test utilizes zinc(II) chloride in the visibility of hydrochloric acid as a reagent. In the existence of one alcohol, the Lucas reagent will certainly halogenate the alcohol, making an insoluble product in aqueous solutions. The reaction price for this is extremely dependent on the development of a carbocation brought about by the ns of the hydroxyl together water. A carbocation created by a primary alcohol is unstable, and thus will certainly not readily occur. This outcomes in no observable reaction at room temperature. A tertiary alcohol will kind a steady carbocation, resulting in a fast reaction top top the enhancement of the Lucas reagent. This results in a second phase showing up in the reaction mixture because the final halogenated product is insoluble in water. Second alcohols will kind a less stable carbocation than tertiary alcohols, yet the reaction will take place at room temperature in a matter of minutes. Therefore, the Lucas check can assist differentiate in between primary, secondary, and tertiary alcohols.

ReferencesStreitwieser, A., Heathcock, C.H., Kosower, E.M. (1998). advent to necessary Chemistry.

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